Someone who accidentally downvoted one of my answers has edited my answer with a non-substantial edit just so they could change it to an upvote. Is this allowed?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "allowed"? $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2015 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ I've done it when a user initially posted a somewhat misleading/incorrect answer but fixed it later (upon which time I upvoted it). I've never done it with ill intentions, only good intentions. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2015 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ The locking in of votes is one of those "features" that's annoying to legitimate users 99.999% of the time, and stops borderline abuse that could be easily detected in other ways 0.001% of the time, and so has been implemented by the SE developers in their infinite wisdom. Like Gerry I'm not sure what you mean by "allowed," but I expect the moderators would have to be in a pretty poor mood to suspend your account for it. $\endgroup$
    – user7530
    Feb 9, 2015 at 6:41
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    $\begingroup$ Related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4311/… $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2015 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ Would you feel it was more legitimate if the unnecessary edit was rolled back after the vote was changed? $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Feb 18, 2015 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


As you describe it, the action seems to have been in good faith. It isn't something that happens too often so that we should be worried about it. On the other hand, users shouldn't exploit this to undo votes as they see fit.

  • $\begingroup$ Then what about upvote-> downvote? Is that okay? $\endgroup$
    – Teoc
    Feb 9, 2015 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MathNoob Not really, no. $\endgroup$
    – Pedro Mod
    Feb 9, 2015 at 4:35
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    $\begingroup$ @PedroTamaroff why not? This will be even more rare it should almost never happen and the potential for abuse is pretty minimal given that the editor is clearly identified. In that sense it seems basically irrelevant. Yet the situation is pretty symmetric so if you want to introduce some asymmetry I would prefer an explanation for the rational. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Feb 9, 2015 at 10:39
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    $\begingroup$ This may especially be legitimate if a rather intriguing error is found in the post and the answerer doesn't fix it within a reasonable amount of time after being notified about it. So why would this not be acceptable (provided a legitimate reason for a downvote)? $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 10, 2015 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ @MathNoob Within reason there is nothing that would disallow such activity. Of course, serially going through a user's posts to change upvotes to downvotes would hopefully be caught by the system, and making a lot of edits within a short period of time would be noticed by the community if not the moderators. As quid mentioned, this would likely be noticed by the post owners, so be careful! $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Feb 12, 2015 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ The UX issue is that the up and down buttons are pretty close to each other, so it's not that hard to click on the wrong one in the right circumstances: tired, not enough coffee etc. You can actually undo your vote immediately by clicking again on the same button, but this functionality is not entirely obvious; you have to hover on the same button and wait for the help hint to show up. But if you immediately go to the other button, which is actually rather natural, it doesn't give the useful hint regarding undo by re-clicking the same button. $\endgroup$
    – Fizz
    Feb 13, 2015 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ [continued] And sometimes you just want to "vote" something as "meh": neither up or down-vote. $\endgroup$
    – Fizz
    Feb 13, 2015 at 5:46

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